Bay of Plenty Enewsreports that Air New Zealand will launch twice-weekly trans-Tasman flight services to and from Rotorua International Airport on December 12.
The airline will fly A320 aircrafts between Sydney and Rotorua. Return flights will operate on a Saturday-Monday service initially, becoming a Saturday-Tuesday service from February 2010.
Bookings for the first flights are already open.
The new service more than 40 years after the airport opened makes Rotorua a more accessible holiday and conference destination for Australians.A Tourism Bay of Plenty spokesman said today that - The anouncement is a significant development for tourism in Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty and the rest of the Central North island.
More than one million Australians visited NZ in the year to May 2009, with about 20 percent of those visitors coming to Rotorua. Destination Rotorua Tourism
Marketing (DRTM) can now increase its marketing in Australia to attract more of those visitors.
This is fantastic news for Rotorua, as it will allow Australian visitors to pop across the Tasman for short breaks, and Rotorua residents can do the same, DRTM general manager Don Gunn says.
DRTM is also working alongside its regional partners in the Central North Island to ensure the potential of the trans-Tasman capability is maximised.
We are thrilled that Air New Zealand is the airline that has committed to trans-Tasman services. Air NZ has been a strong supporter of Rotorua in the domestic market and its profile in Australia is very high and we will be looking forward to working closely with them on collaborative marketing to ensure the success of this venture, Don Gunn says.
The Rotorua Convention Bureau will now step up its promotions in Australia, highlighting Rotorua as a conference and incentive destination. Previously, the lack of direct access has worked against the region, but it is now ideally positioned to become a major conference destination.
The new flight services open up a new market for us, including the sought-after corporate and association market, Rotorua Convention Bureau manager Ruth Crampton says.
With direct flight services now in place, Rotorua's profile in Australia is expected to significantly grow, leading to more visitors and increased opportunities for them to participate in a wide range of activities.
In 1909 Hine O te Rangi, Jean Batten CBE, Daughter of the Skies, to the Te Arawa people was born in Rotorua. Te Arawa people arrived on the Arawa canoe in the mid-14th century from Hawaiki, the legendary home of all Maori in Eastern Polynesia (Hawaiki). They moved inland and settled in the Rotorua and Taupo-National Park area.
In 1936 Jean Batten (28) already recognised as a world celebrity New Zealand's pioneer aviatrix sent Auckland into raptures when she landed her tiny Percival Gull on a small grass airstrip at Mangere after crossing the Tasman in 10 and a half hours.
Emerging from the cockpit glamorous in makeup and white flying suit she was greeted by a crowd estimated at 6000. Jean flew 14,224 miles in 11 days 45 minutes direct from England to New Zealand and set a record which stood for 44 years.
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